Review: Doreen – The Movie @ Lichfield Garrick

Technically the Gala Premiere of Doreen – the Movie doesn’t need a review, if its point is publicity for the purpose of selling tickets. Because Doreen (in private life known as Gill Jordan) doesn’t need publicity.

Doreen

Doreen

She has her own avid fan base as I discovered from where I sat shoehorned into the last seat right at the back. I’d no idea what I was in for, but the reality is the phenomenon, like Dusty or Diana known simply as Doreen, is one of the supreme icons of our age.

Why she’s not on the telly every five minutes says everything about Britain’s media luvvies who rarely venture out of the Groucho Club looking for talent. They should try the Black Country where the Liz Taylor of Upper Splott reigns effortlessly supreme.

Firstly I wasn’t prepared for the fact that this was a real feature film with Hollywood production values and an old-fashioned interval for an ice cream and a drink – think Gaumont and Pathe News. Second, Doreen is an anti-hero – or heroine. She is an unreconstructed Midlands yam-yam, up to every DSS fiddle God made with a daughter (Emma Rollason) she’s bringing up the same, and a next-door neighbour (Jacky Fellows) who doubles her multiple shift-work with slaving over the housework for the reigning Monarch Of The Dole.

Totally politically incorrect, it’s all there – the shoplifting, the DSS fiddles, the substance abuse, the pensioners, the disability claims, and – most poignantly – the north Wales caravan holiday from Hell no Midlander of a certain age can hope to have escaped.

The cast is an impressive roll-call of prestigious actors from the region and celebrities including BBC newsreader Nick Owen and stratospherically, Robert Plant playing a scruffy old bloke.

How creator David Tristram does it (or funds it!) I don’t know but this is the fly-on-the-wall-documentary/sitcom from heaven most media luvvies would kill to even pretend they had “discovered”.

I’m hooked for life, and I can only say I have seen the future – and she’s – Doreen, coming soon to a dole office near you.

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